Goals, Goals, Goals: How I Wish I Was Talking About Soccer by Gina Fluharty

It’s January which means most of us are thinking about goals: goals for weight-loss, goals for the day job, goals for what we love and wish to achieve and how to get there. We Janes are talking about our goals for our writing careers.

I work in Corporate America so I should be well versed in goal setting and enjoy it. I don’t. I loathe it. I despise it to the extent that I don’t want to even think about it as it relates to my writing. Numbers don’t make the woman but that’s what Corporate America is all about these days; metrics, measurable achievements with very little thought to the relationship. All hail the golden number. I’d rather light that number on fire and chase after it with a rusty blade, stabbing it and prodding it forward when it would rather fall to the ground and die in peace.

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t set goals for my writing on a daily or weekly basis. I do. And I usually knock them out of the park. But those just don’t seem as daunting as thinking about my plans for the whole of 2014 right now. So here it is—the bare numbers. I’ve written two books in two years. It takes me about five months to complete a novel. I know. You’re doing the math right now, aren’t you? If I can write a novel in five months, why haven’t I completed four books in two years?

The reasons are various, sundry and valid. And my own which leads me to the point of this. My goal for 2014 is to complete TWO novels. Those two books in addition to the one of 2013 will complete a trilogy and give me a nice start for my back-list.

When I hit my goals for the day job (and I always do because I’m an over-achiever) I am rewarded with a bonus and a raise. That should apply in this case, as well, yes? Upon completion of that second novel—most likely by this time next year—I will reward myself with a weekend at the coast. If I fail in this relatively modest task, I will refrain from buying shoes and hand bags for the whole of 2015. That may not seem like a big deal to some of you but those that know me have already cringed.

So what are your goals? How are you going to get there and what will your reward be?

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About Gina Fluharty

Author of paranormal romance. Like chocolate, I like the darker side of love. It's okay, you can hold my hand as I walk you into the heart of darkness in order to show you the light inside. It's time to embrace the beast within.

Posted on January 2, 2014, in General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. The shoe moratorium I could handle. Handbags? Not so much. Consequently, you must hit your goal or I’ll suffer endless empathetic torment!

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  2. We’re all so different. I can’t imagine finishing six novels in a year, or even two. I’m nearly finished with one that I’ve spent more than a year and a half on, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I can’t do formal goals. My muse is a rebellious teenager—the moment I tell her she has to do something she flips me the finger and slams her bedroom door. Tough love won’t bring her out. I have to tell her she can write whatever the hell she wants to and at her own speed. Only then then will she come out and play.

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  3. I’m with Maggie on not punishing yourself if you don’t make your word count. Though in years past celebrating with a handbag purchase has been quite motivating (nothing makes the world a better, brighter, more hopeful place than a new handbag, IMO). As for WC goals, I decided 2014 would be the year of no plan whatsoever. I know what I need to finish and I’m going to keep finishing all my unfinished projects and simply put them out there. Of course, this time next year I may be changing my tune, buckling down to actual word counts again, but WTH, this year I have no writing goals.

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    • It’s C. Morgan Kennedy’s fault. She wanted a loss/win comp and that’s the best I could come up with. And come on…me not buy handbag’s for a YEAR? You gotta know I sandbagged that bet…

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      • Woaaa – I just wanted goals. Twas Jessie Smith that wanted bets and punishments. Yup, Jessie, I’m throwing you under the bus on this one. Sigh. We all had a chance to speak up on the matter, though. 😀

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  4. No shoes or bags for a whole year?! That’s harsh. Wishing you a very happy 2014 and am very certain you will reach your goals. Can’t wait to read the products.

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  5. Wow, Gina, I’m proud of you for setting a stretch goal. Your punishment, however, “If I fail in this relatively modest task, I will refrain from buying shoes and hand bags for the whole of 2015” is a stinker. I hope the fear of that motivates you well.

    I believe in stretching to meet a goal that seems difficult but you know is doable based on your work habits and life. However, I also believe in not punishing yourself too severely when the goal isn’t met for good reasons–health, family issues, economic stress, etc. I also FIRMLY believe in each person setting the goal that is best for him or her. If one novel is what fits a person’s life, then that is great. No comparing aloud. No two of us has the same support structures (or lack of support structures) in place.

    I started this year with a goal to do 300K words (which mirrors my goal for 2013 that I missed by 40K.) For me that’s four novels and 4 short stories. However, after re-evaluating my daily output, and a nudge from two writing friends, I knew I could do better. There were lots of reasons I didn’t meet the 300K in 2013–some truly valid and others of my own making. Can we say the stop procrastination, fear, and i’m-not-good-enough mantra?

    So, this year I’m going for 500K (6 novels, 10 short stories). The math works out and still gives me time to run my business, volunteer with a couple of organizations, and maybe even pay a little attention to my husband. 🙂 As for punishment if I don’t make it? None. I’m not good with that kind of motivation. For me saying it to the world is the commitment. Then having to admit I didn’t make it is more than enough punishment for me. Brings back all that good girl, honor your commitments, and guilt I’m so good at piling on myself. 🙂

    Now rewards are a completely different thing. If I make it I’m taking me and DH on a three week trip we’ve wanted to do together for a long time. Not sure which one–Hawaii, Iceland, or New Zealand. It will depend on how much money I make in 2014. But we will definitely do one of them if I make this goal. I’m putting up pictures of all three places in my office to remind me every time my mind starts playing games with me.

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    • Oooh, doing a hobbit trek in NZ would be awesome! I think you should do that regardless of your goal. Some experiences are more important than goals. Plus, imagine what you’d write when you got back!

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      • Yeah, but it’s all about the money and one leads to the other. If I get 6 more novels out there it provides a better chance for increased income. New Zealand is an expensive trip. Airfare alone is about 2K each. Fortunately, DH has a niece who just moved there so we could crash with them and see grand-nieces at the same time. SO fingers crossed.

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    • A stinker? Think sandbag. Imma do this thang! As for your goals–I totally heart you hard right now! 500k will only be achievable for me if I don’t have a day job. And that’s not a wish to be laid off, universe, so chill out. Color me impressed! Go outside the lines if you need to, I don’t mind. :o)

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